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Archive for February, 2016

8 - Refocus and get clarity

Clarity of thought is a quality that is essential for every individual so that he /she can progress forward in the right direction. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, individuals have always grappled with the problem of confusion, an inability to be decisive and worse of constantly looking back and wondering if they chose their path wisely. Most of our lives we have been told to avoid problems. In school one is taught to solve problems. Most of our adult life we are anticipating problems and seeking ways to avoid it. As a result the problem overwhelms us, we are hell bent on avoiding or solving problems and we are apprehensive of moving away from the beaten path lest we encounter problems that we have never experienced. So instead of exploring and discovering we prefer to gingerly and tentatively traverse on known paths occasionally daring to venture into some shallow waters. Our horizons are limited our growth is stunted and our sense of achievement is scaled down.

Today the startups, the youngsters having dreams of alternative professions and those leapfrogging from staid professions to dynamic alternatives are tribute to mind set change from problem avoidance to solution finding. Our training of being defensive and risk averse has actually prepared us to easily reorient our thinking into seeking problems and finding solutions. Instead of letting your mind constantly worry about the problem, let it now dwell in anticipation of finding alternative solutions. With this changed orientation in our thinking we allow our creative self to take over. Problems are merely irritants, solutions are there to be found and in finding the solutions you discover your potential, create something unique and possibly even build a new paradigm of success for yourself. Man’s inability to fly was a problem since evolution. Those who saw it as a problem and did nothing about it rationalized that we really didn’t need to fly and so came up with alternative means of transportation. The Wright brothers on the other hand viewed the inability to fly as a problem deserving an appropriate solution. Their aircraft crude as it may have been pioneered the aircraft industry later. The hot air balloon and the drones are also examples of how solution centric answers can become very effective.

We need to watch out for three impediments that could take away our focus from being solution centric

Fear of the problem – It is true that every problem comes with its share of anxiety. When we let this anxiety overtake our rationality we remain problem centric. Our anxiety increases with the passing of time and no acceptable solution visible on the horizon. On the other hand if we analyze the problem dispassionately, we would be able to appreciate the varied dimensions of the problem and perhaps even see various alternative solutions peeping from some corners. Pick up a newspaper and try to solve the crosswords or Sudoku problem in it.

Distraction due to anxietyBefore you attempt the above keep a personal time limit to solve the problem. Notice how you get more tense, distracted and frustrated that the time is running out. Your attention is now drawn towards the deadline rather than the problem itself. This distraction will take away your concentration. On the other hand if you focus on finding solutions you will get at least some answers by the time the deadline approaches.

Urge to disown the problem – Very often we just want to somehow get rid of the problem. If possible we try to pass it on to others. If not we try to find excuses for the problem still being there. Very often we try to find someone to blame for the problem. This urge to get rid of the problem, to disown the problem, to pass the buck is our way of escapism. It neither helps in getting a solution nor does it ease our anxiety for the problem persists.

Watch out for the above and immediately change your thinking to finding a solution and keep seeking alternate solutions till you have ample alternatives to choose the best one. Yes problems often come with many many solutions. Keep searching for the best one.

Try this:

Click on this link to get an idea of how to FOCUS

You are given a barometer and asked to measure the height of a building. Think of 3 possible solutions to the problem. (Having a science inclination would help but oh yes every one can attempt it)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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7- Get what you want

Many of us are disheartened and disappointed in life because we believe that others are more blessed than us. We also view this as being unfair to us because in our view we are equally eligible for the largesse of life. The real issue however is the fact that we cannot pinpoint what we want. Most times what we want is what we suddenly envy in others who posses it. It is therefore essential that we clearly visualize, identify and decide what exactly we want for ourselves. This brings clarity to us, enables us to evaluate how we can attain it and most important ask and seek it. Yes getting what you want all begins with asking for what you want and this in turn means you begin by knowing what one want.

Ask – When we want something we need to ask for it if we are unable to get it on our own. The prerequisite for this step is to ensure we know what we want. It could be a material thing, it could be job or reference that you seek or it could even be exploring a relationship. Unless you ask others would either not be able to understand your want or they may not even notice your want or they would be so unsure about your requirements that they would prefer to be cautious and not even offer you anything. We do not ask for what we want because our ego won’t permit us to ask, we fear rejection of our request, we are embarrassed to ask or we are wary of the obligation that may come from those acceding to our request. Asking also has another dimension. Once we know what we want, it motivates us to ask ourselves for the required effort, commitment and perseverance to obtain what we seek.

Believe – If we ask we must believe that we are going to get what we sought. This is because we ask only when we are sure we know what we want and we are confident that by asking we can get it. Another reason to believe is the reality that we are then prepared to make best use of whatever we receive. A third reason to believe is the fact that if we are sure we will receive it we would be both cautious and reasonable in what we ask. At the same time don’t forget, that barring miracles and some lucky times, it would be silly to believe you would get anything that you don’t deserve. E.g. You don’t study and you pray for good marks or you have been rude and insolent to your parents and you ask them for something special and expensive for your birthday.

Receive If you ask with confidence and believe with full faith you must be ready to receive with arms open wide. You will receive in packages that defy logic, in a form that could surprise you and at times you least expect. Once you are prepared to receive all that you ask for and believe in keep looking for the arrival of the gift. Perhaps you are desperate for a job and you meet an influential person. That could be the beginning of you getting a job offer. At times when you are sure you deserve to get something and at the last moment it eludes you disappointment and frustration is logical. If you pause and reflect it maybe a hint of you having to expect more, work harder and receive a bigger reward. At times therefore, not receiving despite your conviction that you merit it, could suggest that you are to ask, believe and be prepared to receive something even more valuable and deserving.

Try this:

  1.  Can you recollect opportunities / prizes / awards that eluded you? On hindsight can you reflect on how that miss actually benefited you?
  2.  Attempt to do the following
  • Toss a coin 15 times and try to guess which way the coin will land face up.
  • Go to a basketball court and take 15 shots to score a 3 pointer basket.
  • Every morning list out at least 3 things that you will achieve before you retire to bed at night.
  • In the coming week listen carefully to people asking for something ( may be something tangible or seeking help ). Surprise at least one person by offering tangible help. Attempt to do this every week preferably for a stranger.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

 

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6 - Make this your mantraSelf doubt has stopped most people from attempting and achieving much more than what they already have. Each of us is blessed with potential that we often do not leverage simply because we succumb to our doubts, fears, anxieties and lethargy under the pretext that ‘maybe this is not my cup of tea’. We let our past, our negative imagination and the uncertainties of the future hijack our dreams, our potential and immense possibilities that lie ahead of us. Can we grapple with these and begin afresh with confidence? Of course you can! No matter whatever your age, whatever your financial or academic background, whatever your past, the future is there for everyone to make best use of. Identify what is holding you back and grapple with it first; your desire to attain something big will drive you to take on new challenges, work with tenacity and push you beyond your comfort zone and help you discover the real you.

Erase the memories of the painful past. Many of us tend to live in the past; either gloating in the adulation received in the past or often ruing the missed opportunities or simply cursing the bitter experiences one encountered. While gloating about past success can be a motivator living off those memories would be like sitting in a car with the engine only idling. One has to put in gear and press the accelerator to move. The bigger problem is those who sit in a car with a dead battery and instead of fixing the problem ponder, whine and blame the mechanic, the battery manufacturer and anyone else one can find to blame. The problem remains, you get frustrated and while you could have fixed the problem you still keep wondering Can I ?

Evaluate the potential that you are blessed with. We cannot be skilled in everything but for sure we are blessed with enough intelligence and common sense to find a solution to any problem. Either you solve it yourself or seek help. Ask yourself what can be done to meet the challenge of the moment. Merely giving up does not solve the problem nor does it do any credit to your potential. Take the case of a flat tire. Either you have the tools and the skills and the ability to change the flat tire or you go around seeking help. Of course some people would wait for help to come by way of a good Samaritan passing by offering help but that is a long, uncertain and possibly risky wait. Would you prefer to sit and wait instead of answering the question what Can I do now?

Eliminate erroneous perceptions of the future. Most of us approach the future with inhibition and trepidation. We imagine risks, worry about things not going as planned, are afraid to move from our present comfort zone, fear failure and embarrassment but most of all we do now want to take ownership of our own future. It is important to remember that it is essential that we make friends with our future for that is where we are heading as long as we are living. While the future is unpredictable with careful planning, a rational approach and decisive action the outcome of our actions can be largely predicted and controlled. All progress is made because people dared to imagine the future they wanted. You too can create a future that you want provided one does not perennially wonder Can I?

Embark on attaining your dreams – All of us indulge in careful planning but it is the decisive step of taking action that actually kicks of the plans. Planning a pleasure trip be it a picnic or an tour would entail a number of activities from dates to venue to budgets and most important the members participating. Many a time such plans do not fructify because there is no decisive action be taken for fear of opposition from vested interests like those who do not find the date, venue or budget suitable. It takes a decisive leader to take the hard decision to go ahead. When it comes to our own self we are as William Ernest Henleyw says in his poem ‘ Invictus’ I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul..       So why do you wonder Can I?

Try this:

Here are a few suggestions for you to mull over and attempt

  • List out 3 of your major fears. Choose one of them as the challenge for you to overcome in the next 3 months.
  • Do you have a pet project / social service interest which you haven’t yet been able to contribute to? Have a deadline and begin work on getting actively engaged in it.
  • Is there an activity or hobby that you are unable to pursue because of lack of time / energy / resources ? Attempt to enjoy the fun of that activity again.
  • Are there social issues on which you feel strongly? How about regularly writing a letter to the editor about it? The challenge is to get a letter published in the newspaper / magazine.
  • Are you trying to get rid of a bad habit or addiction or trying to improve on some aspects of your personality but not succeeding yet? Try again. Yes you can !

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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5 - Positive evolutionEvery event, be it of the past, the current or the imagined future, influences our thinking, attitude, behavior and responses. Those events from the past that have scarred us, those that we do not like in the present and those that we fear in the future keep impacting us negatively. These tend to largely overshadow the blessings of the past, the wonders of the present and the opportunities of the future. It is therefore essential that we learn to reorient our thinking, start seeing the past present and future through a filter of positivity if we are to make our life more fun, more meaningful and more productive.

Be grateful for the past – If one were to dispassionately evaluate the past, for most of us it would become obvious that barring a few stray awkward, embarrassing, challenging and painful incidents life had been fun filled, happy and enjoyable. Yet we tend to largely focus on what has not gone right overlooking the more significant, satisfactory and fulfilling parts of our journey thus far. Of course the failures, the hurt and the pain of the past cannot be brushed aside but focus on the lessons learned from it. Focus on the transformation that took place because of it and made you a better person. If you still carry the baggage of the hurt of the past, it is a good time to offload it today. Relook the past with an eye to refresh, recollect and reflect on the blessings of the past; the wonderful childhood you have had, the loving care of the family around, the friends and relationships you have built up over the years, the success your were cheered for, the memories that you can forever cherish. If one uses that as the fulcrum of the past life, the present would also be seen in the same perspective provided one makes that effort.

Be engaged in the present – One common aberration in our daily living is the habit of lapsing into the ‘Good old days’ syndrome. The opposite extreme is to find fault with everything that does not happen the way we want it or the way we expect it to be. The present is where we are living and if we can see it as a wonderful place and time to be in, one can experience the joys that abound everywhere and all around us. Mechanization for instance has made our life a lot easier but do we value it? Communication technology has ensured we can be in touch instantaneously and with numerous people; yet do you feel lonely? Transportation revolution has made movement faster, cheaper and more pleasurable but do we keep cribbing about the costs, the lines at the airports, the railways stations and the bus stops? Disposables have become the order of the day saving time and effort yet we see the mountain of trash to which we also contribute conveniently overlooking our own part in it. The present has to be embraced with pragmatism. You may not be able to change what is happening around but one can surely appreciate the good, influence the ills by being sensitive and caring ( use less disposables / be more orderly in queues / cut down on indiscriminate usage of mobiles and internet etc.) but most importantly be involved in the moment. Don’t let the present fly past without it having improved you as an individual.

Be enchanted by the future – The future is a haze and that is precisely why we are wary of it. Strictly speaking if we can appreciate the wonders of our past, see the positive side of the present we must able to look forward to exciting times in the future. However, the future holds an undeniable reality; death. This unfortunately is a scary thought for the overwhelming majority and while we may never consciously reflect on it, subconsciously we are always hoping to prolong life be it our own or those of our loved ones. What adds confusion and apprehension when thinking of the future is the fear that the future may not be as serene as the past and the present. We worry about paying bills, hospitalization, relationships, old age, loss of income, loneliness and ofcourse death. These are all realities but a fair bit of timely planning and mental preparation to cope with these realities would ease our concerns and surely help one prepare to embrace the future. The first step to such preparation is not mentally running away from our fears. How many of those reading this post have prepared a will? How many of us have got our retirement plans chalked out? How many have saved for a rainy day? These can be done only if one is prepared to be realistic and give the future a more concrete shape rather than blindly walking into a hazy sunset. The sunset is surely the beginning of the night but when on an outing don’t we eagerly wait to see the glorious sunset and ensure we are the right place at the right time to enjoy it. See the future as a wonderful sunset and do what needs to be done to enjoy it!

Try this:

  1. Jot down 3 to 5 most wonderful memories from the past. Visualize the situation and the persons involved and revel in the blessings they were for you.
  2. What are the 3 significant contributions that you can make to ensure that the world around you is a better place? So have you started on it ?
  3. Make a list of the following
  • How much money do you think will suffice to ensure you have a comfortable retired life assuming you live till 90
  • What are the 3 things you will do to ensure that you are productively and happily engaged after retirement?
  • What are the 5 most important things you will want to incorporate in your will?
  • Make a list of surprise gifts that you will send this year to at least 3 of the above listed friends.
  • List 10 friends who you can count on to give you support and courage should you be in any trouble in the future.
  • Write down an epitaph for yourself that would best describe you / your life.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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